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Blomquist: One Column Down, One Amazing Year to Go

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blomquist-kerryIndeed, this is my first column as President of the Indianapolis Bar Association–the first of many I am told–and short of some bad state fair karaoke a few years back, this is the most intimidated I’ve been in a long while, though not by my position as steward of this exceptional organization but by assuming you want to hear my musings along the way.

That being said, the Indianapolis Bar Association is an amazing place and it is doing amazing things. If I have my way (and I actually think I just might) this column will be telling you about some of those amazing things and highlighting the people that drive them. This is, has been, and indeed always will be every lawyer’s bar association. Consider this an open and extended invitation to get involved if something you read strikes your fancy.

While I am not intimidated by the role as chief steward (though I must say there are easier things to do than follow Scott Chinn in this or any other world) I am truly honored. Let me tell you why.

I am honored because the best lawyers in Indianapolis are engaged in this association; many have graciously agreed to be on my board… and I am grateful and privileged to have their expertise and advice.

I am honored because the IndyBar has a stellar reputation among metropolitan bar associations in this country as a well run, progressive, inclusive, cutting edge bar. Yes, that is a result of good leadership, but as important that is management–day to day, moment to moment, committee by committee and task by task. That is a credit to the IndyBar staff under Executive Director Julie Armstrong. In short, we are blessed.

I am the 135th president of this legal organization, which began the same year the American Bar Association was formed in Syracuse, N.Y., the same year that a telephone was first installed in the White House, and the same year that electric lights were first put into a retail store (in Philly by the way). I am honored to be following the best, the brightest, and the most committed lawyers of their generation.

I am honored because I am the sixth woman president in this bar association’s 135-year history, and I came to the IndyBar because I wanted to be part of its Women & the Law Division. That, and I was cogently mentored by the late, great Deb Hepler who was a living, breathing example that both women and men can do it all–if not always at the same time.

I am honored because I am a proud public interest lawyer. You just don’t find a lot of our kind in big metropolitan bar association leadership, and that is not a credit to me, it is a credit to those who have put their trust in me. It underlines that this legal community is diverse in its people and its practices. The fact that we are not all alike and that we do not always agree indeed makes us more open minded and thus stronger. We are over 5,000 members strong and at the same time, a force of one, with a simple mission: to serve our members, promote justice and enhance the legal profession. And folks, we have been doing that since 1878.

In 2013, we will bring this membership online CLE and accompanying resources and direct website access to your sections and committees, giving you a chance to build your IndyBar membership the way you want it. All while continuing the best work we do from monitoring the Legislature for potential changes to our justice and legal system, to responding to unfair judicial criticism, to providing exceptional pro bono and mentoring opportunities within our bar. This year we begin collaboration with IPS’s Shortridge Legal Magnet High School, providing lawyer mentors to their incoming ninth grade students and working with the federal court to hold a Naturalization Ceremony at their school doing Law Week. What a wonderful experience for kids who want to work in the area of law.

There is more, but alas these columns are limited in space. Just please know that even with as much as we do as a metro bar association, there is always room for bold improvement and change. So contact me, or Julie, or President Elect Jeff Abrams if you have thoughts. All of the “amazing things” we do now started with a thought.

Finally, thank you. Contrary to the overused witticism, I am delighted to be part of an organization that has me as its president. Here’s to a great 2013.•
 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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